1 dead as Cindy spins severe weather along Gulf coast

1 dead as Cindy spins severe weather along Gulf coast”

Volunteers put out sand bags due to the arrival of Tropical Storm Cindy in Lafitte, La., Wednesday, June 21, 2017. It is expected to weaken into a tropical depression later Thursday morning, the Miami-based weather forecaster said.

The National Hurricane Center also warned of the possibility of a few tornadoes Thursday "from the lower MS and Tennessee Valley regions to the central Gulf Coast".

The storm is expected to move slowly northeast in the coming days.

Coastal residents are feeling the effects of a severe storm system that's churning in the Gulf of Mexico.

Alabama state officials say the insects known as red imported fire ants can present a potentially serious health threat to people and animals during severe flooding.

Afternoon highs will be in the low and mid-90s through the end of the week and the weekend.

Louisiana Gov. John Bel Edwards declared a state of emergency, like his Alabama counterpart a day earlier.

Cindy, armed with sustained winds of 50 miles per hour, was forecast to hit with heavy rains totaling 6 to 9 inches and isolated amounts of 12 inches for parts of Louisiana, Mississippi, Alabama, and western portions of the Florida Panhandle through Thursday.

Heavy rain and some flash flooding already have been reported along the Gulf Coast, but more is on the way.

More news: Moisture from Cindy brings more rain chances to the area

Heavy rains from the storm are expected fall across much of the state, with the higher mountains and Western lowlands likely to absorb the brunt of the precipitation, according to a weather briefing for emergency managers on Wednesday.

Over the coming days, the cold front will push the remnants of the storm east and will help dump more rain over the Tennessee and MS valleys.

Heavy rains and wind could disrupt oil supplies at the massive refining and production centers along the U.S. Gulf Coast, which could drive up prices for consumers. Inundation of 1 to 3 feet above ground level is also possible elsewhere along the coast from southeastern Louisiana to the western Florida Panhandle in areas of strong onshore winds.

Spots from Louisiana west to the Florida Panhandle experienced flooding Wednesday and some spots of wind damage as bands of storms made their way onshore.

Overnight, Tropical Storm Bret dissipated in the southern Caribbean.

New Orleans Mayor Mitch Landrieu urged residents Wednesday to remain alert, even though the National Weather Service had lifted a tropical storm warning in the city.

Update 12:25 p.m.: The National Weather Service in Lake Charles has issued a tropical storm warning for Jefferson and Orange counties.

Meanwhile, Tropical Storm Bret is moving along South America's northern coast.

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